Monday, October 28, 2019

Kennington Memorial Field, 26th October 2019

We returned to the Kennington Memorial Field on Saturday for our bi-annual session here, working with the Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT). Upon arrival, the car park by the pavilion was already full since some sporting activities on the adjacent pitches had already commenced.

Once alternative parking arrangements had been sought and found, we assembled and made our way through the gate to the field itself, ready for instruction by Lindsay Priddle from the OPT. The task of the day was to clear brambles and scrub from an area on the western edge of the site before transporting the cuttings down the hill to a bonfire. This is an ongoing process here to ensure that the encroachment upon the grassland areas is kept in check and therefore preserving this valued community asset.

A pair of OPT volunteers and several locals gathered alongside us, adding up to a total workforce of 25 or so. Armed with bow saws and loppers, most of us found a spot to begin the scrub clearance, while others got ready to load the cuttings onto tarpaulins to drag down to the site of the bonfire or alternatively to pitchfork away for burning. Adrian had come armed with his scythe again, and proved to be very efficient.

As usual, Graham was the assigned fire-starter and with the help of some seasoned logs, he had a good blaze going in no time.

Our large team of volunteers made remarkable progress during the first half and certainly earned their half-time refreshments. There had been plans to take cover in the pavilion, but the rain that had been forecast barely materialised, therefore we stayed put.  


There was some good news regarding our finances at this point - a cheque for £266 was unveiled! This was from the Abingdon branch of Waitrose as a share of the supermarket's latest 'green token' community scheme for good causes.   

We continued where we left off during the second half, with more scrub-bashing. The decision was made shortly after midday not to cut any more so that the bonfire could be wound-down towards the end of the session. The effort was then concentrated into moving the remainder of the cut material to the fire.

Another successful morning here was thus complete and we look forward to returning during the first half of next year.

-Andrew




Lindsay instructs the group.

Let lopping begin.

Carolyn and Margaret prepare to transport cuttings to the bonfire.

Kevin and pitchfork.

The bonfire.

The fuel to get the fire started.

Teatime conversation.

Carolyn and Rosie at the hot beverage station.

The half-time progress.

A good turnout!

The Waitrose cheque!

The second half begins.

Spindle fruit.

Graham stands guard over the bonfire.

A team effort.

A section of scrub clearance.

Fungi!
The little helpers (photo by Michele)

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